These Seniors Took Their Bass Connections Research Further and Graduated with Distinction

June 24, 2019

This year, Duke’s undergraduate Class of 2019 included 303 students who participated in Bass Connections at some point in their four years. Forty-one percent of these Bass Connections team members submitted a senior thesis, compared to 27 percent of all Trinity students.

For some students, taking part in engaged interdisciplinary research through Bass Connections project teams or summer programs confirmed their interests; for others, the experience opened up entirely new paths. Many students found ways to take their research further through opportunities within Duke and beyond.

These are some of the students who chose to leverage their Bass Connections participation for a thesis leading to Graduation with Distinction in May 2019.

Aashna Aggarwal

Aashna Aggarwal.
Aashna Aggarwal gives a talk, “Identifying Hidden Opportunities for Value Creation,” at TEDxDuke.

Chaya Bhat

Chaya Bhat.

Chaya Bhat was selected by her classmates as the Global Health student commencement speaker. (Photo: Chris Hildreth)

Luke Farrell and Jake Shulman

Farrell and Shulman.
Luke Farrell and Jake Shulman traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case that drew on research from their team. (Photo: Jonathan Mattingly)

Ryan Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald and team members.

Ryan Fitzgerald (second from right) and team members walk back to camp after checking animal traps in a village in Madagascar. (Photo: Courtesy of James Herrera)

Youlim Kim

Briana Kleiner

Julia Knorr

Julia Knorr works with her team to map seed dispersal of wild African forest elephants in Gabon. (Photo: Courtesy of team)

Kelsey Lansdale

Lansdale and team members.
Kelsey Lansdale (center) and two team members find an amazing tree in the Peruvian Amazon. (Photo: Courtesy of Jackie Gerson)

Eliza Letourneau

Kerry Mallinson

Kerry Mallinson checks her equipment in Malaysia. (Photo: Jim Rogalski)

Chinemerem Nwosu

Nwosu in Uganda.
Chinemerem Nwosu conducts research at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda. (Photo: Courtesy of team)

Ajilé Owens

Owens in Madagascar.

Ajilé Owens (far right) conducts an interview with participant Edmond while he and his family harvest rice in his field. (Photo: Courtesy of James Herrera)

Hemal Patel

Hemal collecting demographic information from children in a school in French Harbor, Roatán.
Hemal Patel collects demographic information from children in a school in French Harbor, Roatán. (Photo: Courtesy of Duke Global Health Institute)

Luiza Perez

Perez and team members in Peru.
Luiza Perez (right) takes a break with two team members in Peru. (Photo: Courtesy of Duke Global Health Institute)

Samantha Sadler

Sam Sadler gives a talk at the 2019 Bass Connections Showcase. (Photo: Kelley Bennett)

Caleigh Smith

Kathryn Watkins

Watkins and Linh Bui.
Kate Watkins (left) and Linh Bui conduct research in Honduras. (Photo: Christina Makarushka)

Claire Wiebe

Natalie Chin Wen Yu

Learn More

  • See how other students have leveraged their research for theses and dissertations.
  • View stories from Bass Connections student team members.
  • Learn what some Bass Connections alumni are doing now.